Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

He’s a contrarian. He’s a prognosticator. He’s a bear on the US economy. He’s Dr. Doom and he was kind enough to chat with us recently:

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Given our tendency towards more government, at least since FDR, is there actually hope for an eventual small government in this country? A recent Reason-Rupe survey suggests there may be! We recently spoke with Reason Foundation director of polling Emily Ekins to discuss the results of this fascinating survey.

http://reason.com/assets/db/2014-millennials-report.pdf

On Independence Day, I had the opportunity to chat with Kmele Foster of Fox Business’ The Independents and Freethink Media. We talked about Kmele’s path to libertarianism and to television. We talked about the founders and whether we’ve retained their principles or abandoned them altogether. At times our “movement” can tend to have a negative outlook on our future. The biggest thing I took away from my chat with Kmele is that there is a lot to be optimistic about… which was definitely refreshing for a change.

Also, here are links to the films Kmele mentions in the interview:

http://www.amazon.com/Honor-Flight-Bert-Brach/dp/B00BU984DK/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1405045292&sr=1-1&keywords=honor+flight+the+movie

http://www.amazon.com/2081-based-Vonneguts-22Harrison-Bergeron-22/dp/B002Y2BDEE

Submitted by Dirk Tripp, former Marine.

The American experience in Vietnam once had a real bite to it. Second only to the Civil War in the way it affected the American psyche. These two wars go hand in hand in that respect, for they were both firsts when it came to seeing the blood, and guts, and bones of dead Americans in living color. After the Civil War we sure kept waging war on the Native Americans, but after Vietnam we actually stopped the killing for a minute, took a pause, and actually reflected on what we had done. (more…)

Recently we had a really interesting chat with Ed Krayewski of reason.com
We spoke about recent events in Iraq and Ukraine and US foreign policy in general. It was a real education. Enjoy…

Dinesh D’Souza is a conservative author and filmaker. He made big waves with his 2012 documentary, 2016: Obama’s America. He is now promoting his new film, America: Imagine the World Without Her. He was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his crazy schedule to talk about the movie and discuss a few issues with us. Enjoy…

Coming up in the next 2 weeks, Political Badger talks with Amity Shlaes, Ed Krayewski, Dinesh D’Souza, Kmele Foster and Marc Faber. Please stay tuned!!!

Many of you have read his pieces on his blog bionic mosquito. You have seen his stuff all over the place: on lew rockwell, economic policy journal, lions of liberty

After hearing some talking head on CNBC refer to Ron Paul as a mosquito, the author thought to himself, “If Ron Paul is a Mosquito, he is a powerful one.” Hence the name. Jonathan Goodwin is bionic mosquito and was kind enough to give us a peek into his not-so-mosquito-sized brain.

Political Badger: What was the impetus for starting your blog?

Bionic Mosquito: I had been thinking about doing something like this for quite some time. I thought it would be a good way for me to improve my thinking on several subjects – economics, libertarianism, politics, and empire (I think history wasn’t originally on my mind); I am not trained in any of these. I felt that the act of writing, and posting it publicly, would force an improvement of discipline in my thought. I also thought that receiving feedback online would be a wonderful, free, learning tool. Finally, I wanted to document my own learning / progression.

But what drove me finally to take the step was a minor technical problem (you asked). For a time I was a regular feed-backer at The Daily Bell. Early on, I was not able to post a comment of more than a few characters (it turned out to be a browser problem on my end). In order to get around this, I would post my longer comments on my blog, and DB graciously copied the comments from my blog to their thread.

Pretty dull, I know.

PB: When did it really take off?

BM: Have you looked at the alexa ratings? “Take off” is not a phrase I would use, but thank you.

I guess bionic mosquito first started gaining some recognition (beyond the comments section of Daily Bell, EPJ, and Mises) when Lew Rockwell ran a post a couple of years ago – something I wrote about Pearl Harbor, based on a book by George Victor, “The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable”. Since then, Lew has re-posted many of my blog posts, as has Robert Wenzel at EPJ and Marc Clair at Lions of Liberty. A few other sites occasionally pick up a post as well.

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Submitted by Dirk Tripp, former Marine.

I look around frustrated and confused at people who seem so ignorant, or apathetic, or worse yet just down right stupid, and I realize they one and all revel in easy thinking. I studied a principle in college that mass media was becoming more and more suited to the individual by way of the internet. For the first time in history we can chose what news we see, and this had led to people only concerning themselves with what they want to see. Profound thought and meaningful reflections rarely occur when other perspectives or views are not included in the process. A conservative only pays attention to conservative news and a liberal concentrates on only liberal news. Then there are the few who realize neither side is worth a grain of salt, to which the news quit mattering long ago. It all comes down to people thinking easy. Instead of thinking for themselves, it is much more convenient to have a paid commentator form one’s opinion for them. By the looks of things now easy thinking seems to be the trend of the future, problem is, with easy thinking there might not be a future.

Submitted by Dirk Tripp, former Marine.

It has been no joy spending over a decade trying to inform folks that George W. Bush and his administration flat out broke the law by using deception to start an aggressive war. It has been the equivalent of trying to dig a trench on a beach of marbles. I just keep digging in, only to have ignorance, apathy, stupidity, and partisanship fall in on the sides filling up the same stupid hole. Now conservative republican’s have taken to photoshopping Obama onto the deck of the Carl Vinson with that stupid ‘mission accomplished’ banner. They are literally rewriting history, in real time, and it is literal truth to them. Neocons have become so stooped in denial that now if you seek justice for Bush, Cheney, and the rest of those liars, you are attacking their ‘moral’ standards and spreading hate speech. I hate stupidity. I hate apathy. I hate war crimes. I hate the inability of people to accept responsibility for their mistakes. It has been over ten years since the Bush administration pounded home how we had to invade because of al Qaeda in cahoots with Saddam, and to this very day even the most independently minded republican says ” accusing the president of lying is pretty serious, gonna need some hard evidence for that.” The problem is the only hard evidence they’ll accept is that Benghazi is the worst scandal in all of history. By George W. Bush getting away with doing whatever he wanted it has set a precedent that is as perilous as it gets; the president is above the law. Denial is not a moral standard, it is dangerous. Expressing the truth is not hate speech unless of course you hate the truth.

If you pay attention to financial media even the slightest bit, you have no doubt heard the talking heads freak out over the prospect of deflation. Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business, Wall Street Journal, you name it… they all mindlessly repeat the bloviations of Bernanke, Yellen, Krugman, etc. that what we need is for people to spend (not save), to borrow, and for prices to rise. All of this is wrong.

To give you a real basic econ lesson, this attitude is largely inspired by the economist John Maynard Keynes. Bernanke and company are devout Keynesians. They believe an economy is built on consumption and is stimulated by spending. Paul Krugman is outspoken in his conviction that the US does not carry enough debt. That $18 trillion is not nearly enough. He believes we need to spend much, much more and that increasing the debt does not matter in the least. I sh%t you not. These are the people running our economy. Bernanke, Yellen, Jack Lew, the financial media, republicans and democrats alike all believe we must spend our way out of this funk we’re in. And as Shaq once said, “Don’t fake the funk on a nasty dunk.” That literally means nothing, sorry.

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Submitted by Dirk Tripp, former Marine.

There was absolutely no doubt as to what the outcome would be if we removed Saddam Hussein from power. Any student of history worth a grain of salt at all knew that there would be no democratic, self reliant, peaceful Iraq if we tried to reproduce our way of life there by way of occupation. The outcome was always going to be the same; Sunni vs. Shiite, Sunni vs. Kurd, Kurd vs. Shiite, and so on and so forth. And so it is coming to pass, that horrible truth that reasonable people have known from the very beginning of it, we should have never gone into Iraq. We should have been better as a people than a hand full of neo con warhawks with oil on the brain. We weren’t better than them, we became their pawns, and to this very day dumbass after dumbass tries to shirk responsibility by blaming Obama. This is by far and away the most pathetic chapter in the history book of America. Before we went into Iraq terrorists had to train in the middle of the dessert using closelines and cardboard boxes to represent urban warfare. When we invaded Iraq they began their training against the most fearsome, deadly military force on earth in real cities under real world conditions. We trained ISIS with American blood, and if you survive an engagement with pissed off Marines, then you are going to be one hell of a hand full after that. Many Americans are playing the “this is such a surprise card” to which I pull that card and soundly fart in their general direction. What is surprising is the level of apathy, stupidity, fear, and recklessness this nation displayed while Bush made this happen. What is happening now is no shock at all. When one single architect of Operation Iraqi Freedom stands trial for crimes against the people of the United States of America, that will be shocking.

Presented without comment: NY Times 1985 Article

Recently, I was lucky enough to interview Dr. Michael C. Munger, professor of Political Science, Economics, and Public Policy at Duke University (he’s no dummy). He is also director of the PPE Program at Duke. He has written over 100 scholarly articles and papers and has authored/co-authored four books. Munger ran for governor of North Carolina in 2008 as a Libertarian candidate.

Munger gives a unique libertarian perspective on economics and policy. His interview reminds us that while there may be different factions within the Libertarian party, at the end of the day we all have similar goals and should welcome and support those who don’t conform to every boilerplate libertartian stance. We don’t all have to subscribe to the Austrian school and we don’t all have to list the abolition of the Fed as #1 on our priority list.

Political Badger: How did you become a libertarian?

Michael Munger: Usual story, for economists. I was a socialist, and started studying economics. When you understand markets, you recognize that the state is not very good at organizing things. And then the Republicans proved that the state is capable of great evil, imposing narrow moral beliefs and violence on people, so the state isn’t very good at running people’s lives, either! In 2003, within a month, GW Bush invaded Iraq and I had dinner with Rick Santorum. So I gave up on both of the state-sponsored parties and became a libertarian. (more…)

We in America have been so indoctrinated to believe there are only two ways of looking at our political system: from the perspective of a Republican and from that of a Democrat. The media, our friends and family, and our culture in general all propagate this myth. The truth is the parties are for all intents and purposes the same. If you are for either, you are for massive, all encompassing government. It’s a pick your poison scenario. (more…)

Seeing as our government bungles and mismanages nearly everything it gets it’s hands on, I decided to do a series of pieces on their ineptitude. Given the endless fodder available, this promises to be an infinite project. My hope is to show that government does almost nothing well and to illustrate that more government necessarily equals more waste, inefficiency, ineffectiveness, and in this case death. And therefore the less government we have, obviously the less we get of these things. (more…)

I recently had the pleasure of watching Dallas Buyers Club. It really is a terrific movie. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto give truly outstanding performances. The story is extremely touching. It has all the characteristics of an award winning movie. But the thing that struck me the most was what a wonderful libertarian message it conveys.

The movie is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, an AIDS sufferer who defies conventional medicine and the federal government by bringing non FDA approved products to hundreds of AIDS victims. Realizing that the FDA approved drugs at best were not working and at worst were making patients sicker, he literally searched the world for alternatives. The medications he “prescribed” were legal in other countries but banned in the U.S. The result was Woodroof and countless other AIDS sufferers experiencing both an extension and an improvement of their quality of life. (more…)

Hello my flock of badgers. Or is it a herd? Or a gaggle? What’s the word for a group of badgers? Whatever that word is… Wait, I just looked it up! It’s a cete! Hello my cete of badgers! There’s a common objection I get from time to time from people when I mention that I believe in a small (or zero) government. People often say something to this effect, “Not only has our population increased, but things have changed so much since our founders drafted the constitution. This obviously necessitates a bigger government.”

This line of thinking is as dangerous as it is scary. Let’s get one thing straight. Government is responsible for the worst of the bad things in this world. (more…)

In an earlier piece I wrote about the hypocrisy of republicans. Today I want to talk about how horrible democrats are. I try to be an equal opportunity politician hater.

Democrats are evil in so many ways, but the most obvious and egregious is their policy of stealing in order to secure votes. They have somehow been able to convince millions that theft is ok and is in fact noble. They have shown millions more that if they vote democrat they will get the booty looted from the victims. LBJ once said, “I’ll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” Nice. A thief and a racist. Good combo!

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Ron Paul on how we create terrorists and constantly make enemies overseas.

Submitted by Dirk Trip, former Marine.

Does anybody out there remember the horrible tension and fear that existed during the height of the Cold War? As a six year boy I sat down with a Coke and a smile and watched the movie “The Day After.” I was accustomed to war movie heroes like Alvin C. York and Audie Murphy and my mind had already been programed to aspire to be a famous American infantry fighter. “The Day After” is a movie about an all-out thermonuclear war, and immediately I understood that there would be no heroes in the case of such a war, only the dead, dying, and soon to be dying.

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Check out this great little article by Walter Williams on the ridiculousness of Obama’s relentless war against the pay discrepancy between men and women.

Walter Williams

Agree or disagree with Dr. Ron Paul, you have to admire his gigantic sack. Watch this clip from the 2008 republican debate in SC. Most politicians would wilt here. Imagine the guts it takes to tell an auditorium full of blood-thirsty, war-mongering neo-cons that our foreign policy contributed to 9/11 and that we should not be at war in Iraq.

April 15th is tax day, or the deadline for submitting your tax returns to the government. It’s a day we should all stop and give thanks to our omniscient, omnipresent, and opulent oligarchy. On behalf of the 50% of Americans who pay for the other half, I would like to give thanks to you today, my all-powerful government, for taxing my income, my property, my purchases, my gifts, my investments, and my estate that I would like to leave to my children when I die. Truly… Thank you. I mean it.

I realize that merely confiscating a large percentage of my hard earned money is not enough to fund your imperialistic military, your entitlement programs, foreign aid, bank bailouts, and all of your massive departments. I understand that if I watch my spending and save a little and invest for my future you must tax that as well (wait, didn’t you already tax that money once?). I also realize that you must tax the food, gas, and clothing that I must buy with some of my money that you allow me to keep. I understand that this is still not enough revenue for you so I must pay you each year for things I own like my house and my car. And finally, I totally get that whatever you leave me with, at the end of my days, that I want to leave for my kids, you must take your cut of that too. (more…)

We must consider the source when we consider the things we were taught growing up in public (government) schools. In a hypothetical true free society where government did not monopolize the school system, we would be much more likely to learn a fair and accurate presentation of facts. This is true of any subject but is most applicable when we’re talking about history. History is largely in the eye of the beholder. There are facts and dates that cannot be debated. But history is more about the why than the when. This is where the perspective of the presenter comes into play. Take 9/11 for example. Depending on who taught the subject, one may get very different explanations as to the cause. A pro-government leaning teacher may say we were attacked because the terrorists hated our freedom and our wealth. They attacked us out of jealousy basically. Another, more impartial teacher may say we were attacked as retaliation for our incessant meddling in the Middle East. Same event, same dates, same number of dead, but very different explanations of the most important lesson: the cause.

The standard account of the Great Depression we got (and still get) growing up illustrates just one of many inaccurate portrayals of historical events regurgitated in government schools. The popular, public school account goes something like this: the unfettered capitalistic, animalistic excesses of the 1920’s resulted in a horrific crash in 1929 that led to the Great Depression. And the do-nothing Herbert Hoover allowed the Depression to continue and worsen while the masses were starving. Roosevelt, with all of his grand programs, put Americans back to work and eventually pulled us out of the Depression. (more…)

Submitted by Dirk Trip, former Marine.

Does anyone remember the saying we used to collectively memorialize the victims of the cowardly attacks of September 11, 2001? “We will never forget.” With four words we made a vow to those we lost on that day that they would never be far from our minds.

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As I’ve written before our economy is based on bubbles. The Fed inflates a bubble, we have a crash, they reinflate and round and round we go. Right now we are seeing the cheap money find its way into stocks. Last time it was housing. Today’s report of an unexpected 0.5% increase in producer prices in March makes one think the freshly printed dollars may be finding their way into the economy at large. The dollar has taken a bit of a beating this week on the FX market. It was down 2.5% against the Yen which is tough to do given Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s rampant money printing. Who knows if this is the beginning of a trend but, if nothing else, its a harbinger of things to come.

The main way by which the Federal Reserve seeks to “stimulate” the economy is by manipulating interest rates. It does this through its so called open market operations. In other words, it attempts (most often) to force interest rates down by changing the money supply, i.e. printing money. (more…)

Dick Cheney famously said, “Deficits don’t matter.” Well, deficits have run our national debt up to over $17 trillion and counting exploding. Dick Cheney and most politicians are great at spending other people’s money. The more they spend, the more likely they are to get votes, and so the more likely they are to say things like “deficits don’t matter.” We need to remember Dick Cheney, as well as most politicians, are not economists. They are in the business of buying your vote. Deficits do matter. They matter a lot. When they tell you the rules that govern your personal expenditures don’t apply to the government, don’t believe them. No matter what anybody says, irresponsibly spending more than you take in year after year after year with no plans to ever slow down is a recipe for disaster. The federal government is buying votes with your credit card and have no plans on paying down your balance.

If you haven’t seen this video by Tony Robbins on our national debt, brace for a wake-up call. He really puts the severity of our situation in perspective. I was blown away the first time I watched it. And I realize its a bit random to put a Tony Robbins video up on the site, but his self-help dvd’s did change my life. Just kidding… or am I? Believe in yourself, reach for the stars… and enjoy this video on our monstrosity known as our national debt:

Submitted by Dirk Trip, Former Marine

Dwight D. Eisenhower, one of the most iconic military leaders in all of human history, left the American people a clearly defined warning about the dangers of an unchecked military industrial complex.

As it stands now, not only do we not like Ike, we’ve set the poor general to spinning in his grave like a drill bit. Our military industrial complex has gone beyond unchecked, it has grown into some sort of immeasurable colossus that gobbles up money like nothing ever before in human history. We never really took our foot off of the gas pedal when it comes to our defense spending, so I guess, F-U Ike, thanks for your service though…

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Constitutional expert Judge Andrew Napolitano had a great piece today on Dianne Feinstein’s hypocritical tirade on the Senate Floor I posted about last week:

Judge Nap Article

Great little article by my homie Ron Paul.  This adds some substance to my Feinstein post from last week. In other words, “What he said…”

Ron Paul Article

Think about the type of person the average politician is. I am obviously generalizing here but politicians tend to be narcissistic. They tend to be hungry for power and control. Think of the typical douchey cheesebag you see on Sunday morning political tv shows, with his über white teeth and his perfect hair. Think of all the politicians who cheat on their wives. Think about the nature of politics. You have to be a salesman. And, lets face it, most of these guys are glorified used car salesmen (no offense to my thousands of used car salesman followers). They must be adept at spin, at lying. If the economy is bad, they must convince you it’s fine. They’ll convince us that war is necessary when diplomacy is in order. These guys suck, Republicans and Democrats alike.

Understanding that most politicians blow, I now want to focus on Republicans specifically. I have a real disdain for Democrats but Republicans are a special kind of suck. (more…)

The most ardent supporter of the NSA and most outspoken denouncer of Edward Snowden had this to say yesterday:
Feinstein on CIA

Feinstein has a real problem with the CIA spying on members on congress.

Now watch this. Fast forward to the one minute mark:
Feinstein on NSA

She has no problem with the NSA spying on you!

Obama and Russia

Posted: March 10, 2014 in politics
Tags: , , , ,

This is not meant as a defense of Romney as I’m not a fan of either of these politicians, but I love Obama’s comments on Russia at the 7 second mark:

Obama Romney Debate